If you’re looking for a protein that’s abnormally fragile, you might look to miku.
Recently, a member of the epidermal growth factor (epidermal growth factor receptor, or epidermal growth factor receptor 2) subtype of miku discovered that they possessed an abnormally high number of mutations.
Miku was first discovered, scientifically speaking, about 120 years ago, when a Japanese man died due to a urinary tract infection. The epidermal growth factor receptor, or epidermal growth factor receptor 2, was then studied, and discoveries after then revealed the receptor to possess over 200 mutations.
In previous decades, scientists have done little to follow up on the research and continued to study how miku may affect human infection and disease.
“There is a gap in our knowledge on the genetic mechanisms that lead to human (epidermal growth factor receptor 2) phenotypes,” states the 2012 Nature Biotechnology paper about the mutation clusters. Epidermal growth factor receptor 2, one of the three epidermal growth factor receptors on the surface of cells, plays a pivotal role in controlling inflammatory processes, and has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease.
Although scientists could not determine exactly what was causing the mutations, the paper stated that the mutations may have been produced when a single infected cell transitioned between an outside and an inside cell.
The chemical formula for miku contains two proteins. One increases cell movement through the epithelial layer, while the other keeps the cell at a certain position. In some cells, the movements are too fast, while in others the movements are too slow. And, as we already know, both proteins are active in the infection process. One protein is makubulinal. The other, takubulatal.
Prior to this discovery, it was uncertain whether makubulinal and takubulatal were responsible for the “factors that drive the side-to-side movement.” The scientists hypothesize that makubulinal mutations are associated with recruitment of the takubulatal trans-uniform antigen, or TUFA antigen, and that the side-to-side movement was converted into effect.
The paper, published in Cell Reports, cites previous research using cell cultures and animal model studies, demonstrating the widespread presence of mutations.
There are now a few preliminary symptoms of miku infection. The rare infection is found mainly in South and Southeast Asia, and can progress in two ways: infection usually occurs in young people who have previously been vaccinated or immunized, and in people who are immunocompromised. Mika novae is an extremely rare infection.
The condition can have significant life-altering consequences for those afflicted. It is treated with various immunosuppressants and other drugs and has been known to put patients at risk for progressing to fatal complications. There are no vaccines against miku infection, and the disease is especially hard to diagnose because it involves permanent mutations.
“We plan to evaluate makubulinal/takubulatal mutations in more patients with epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (EGFR2) infection and study their effects,” the study states.
Before the discovery of this mutation clusters, researchers believed that miku was responsible for causing antibodies to be made. As a result, some manufacturers of epidermal growth factor replacement products had to comply with the newly instituted HIV prevention measures, requiring these companies to fill existing materials with epidermal growth factor replacement proteins that carry only one or two mutations. These experts believe that the mutation clusters now may force additional changes to produce replacement proteins.
“Viruses, by way of mis-folding miku proteins, impair the recognition of and immune response to antigen,” the study states. “Thus, miku inhibition has proven to be a very viable immunosuppressive strategy in both HIV prevention and drug tolerance therapy.”
Researchers suggest that future steps are to use next-generation drugs containing TUFA antibodies, and further probe the mutation clusters. In addition, scientists will look at how miku mutations affect immunity. For the meantime, eating bananas and garlic cloves — both of which contain makubulinal — might help protect against contracting miku infection.